Quiet Santa: A Wonderful Holiday Experience For Kids With Special Needs. Picture this: you’re a kiddo with autism, ADHD, allergies, or sensory proccessing disorders. You’re getting dragged into a crowded mall by your mother who just wants one decent photo of you with Santa! You’re barraged with bright lights, moving escalators, water features, crowds, noise, blaring music and long lines. Then, you get to the Big Red Guy who booms at you like a cannon going off in the astrodome: “WHAT DO YOU WANT FOR CHRISTMAS LITTLE BOY!!”
(photo credit: ellyn.)
Yeah. You’re melting down and mom’s in tears and nobody’s getting a photo of anything. Because asking one of these kids to go through that is like asking us to stick needles in our eyes. Really.
(photo credit: Nicole Mays)
Quiet Santa is a beautiful movement where these kids go to a mall before it opens or somewhere calm to meet with Quiet Santa and Mrs. Claus. Your kids can take a few minutes to relax, draw a picture, do a craft and have some hot chocolate. When they’re ready, they can come over at their own pace to meet with Quiet Santa. If the kid wants to sit on the floor, Santa sits on the floor. If she wants to sign her wish list or use an iPad to communicate, Santa does the same. Everything goes at the pace of the child until they’re ready for a Santa experience and picture for mom. And this part is important: it’s FREE. No charge for pictures, no harrassment to buy overpriced frames. Even the crafts, coloring, cookies or cocoa are free. Because parents of kids with special needs – and that is ONE IN EVERY FIVE children here in Utah – are usually swamped with expenses. Everyone deserves a joyful memory at Christmas, especially these families. We’ve seen parents start crying because their kiddo speaks for the first time in years to talk to Santa. There’s a miracle every time we do this.
(Photo credit: Bradley Dean)
Ready for your Quiet Santa miracle? We have sessions coming up on Saturday and Sunday (December 19-20) at the Zermatt Utah Resort in Midway, and Monday and Tuesday (December 21-22) at Cafe 50West in Salt Lake City. Signing up is easy, just click this link and it’ll take you to a schedule page to pick a time for your family. Just find a 15 minute block for your family, sign up, and you’re good to go! Please sign up as soon as you can, these slots fill up immediately. Please share with families that you know could really use an experience like this. We’ll greet you with a smile and tell you “take your time. No stress. We’re happy you’re here.”